So you’ve made it through the interview process, landed a great job, and now the paychecks are rolling in. A huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders, and you’ve earned every right to celebrate. But this is no time to let up. All that effort you put into a job search must now be turned toward keeping your job for the long-term. Employees are fired more often than you probably realize, with 1.6 million U.S. workers being laid off or discharged in April 2017 alone. To avoid becoming a part of this statistic, there are several steps to take throughout your career.
The First 6 to 12 Months
Keeping a job for the long-term begins by starting on the right foot to make your first 90, 180, and 365 days a success. During this critical time, it’s necessary to learn as much as possible about your job and company to make a good impression on your supervisors and get great at your position. Asking lots of questions is a good way to show your interest in the job and to get additional information about your responsibilities. Clear communication sets a strong precedence for the rest of your career with this company.
The way you treat the early days of your job will set expectations for the future. One out of every three employers have fired an employee because of tardiness, so make sure to never be late to work. Even if you don’t get fired after your first tardy, it’s still something your boss won’t forget. Now is not the time to slack off; it’s the time to prove you’re a trustworthy, organized, and responsible employee.
Years 1 Through 3
Once you’ve gotten through the first year, you are likely comfortable with the responsibilities of your role and have gotten into a rhythm. But once again, it’s not time to put your efforts on cruise control. The next few months and years are the time to really become an expert at your role. Avoid getting involved with any drama or workplace politics, and concentrate on your job like never before.
Begin by trying to spot ways to improve processes whenever you can. Employers love a worker that discovers ways to improve efficiency or save money, especially during tight manufacturing or construction timeframes. Taking this initiative can prove to your boss that you’re not just valuable in your current role, but are an asset for the company. Establishing this is essential to future development and keeping your job. That way if budget cuts come, you have solid reasons for avoiding termination.
At this point in your role, you aren’t the new kid on the block anymore. Helping newer hires with questions or techniques, even if not required to do so, makes you valuable to management. By making life easier for your boss, you are adding to your job security. The real goal in this timeframe is to make yourself indispensable to your company so that they can’t imagine their organization running smoothly without you.
4 years and Onward
As you get deeper into your job and career, it’s important to focus on developing your leadership skills. You are now an expert at your position with several employees looking up to you. Lead by example, and you’ll be in a position for a promotion to a bigger role with more responsibility. Talk to your boss about your desire for more duties, pointing out your increasingly important accomplishments and contributions in the last few years. Even if you’re not able to receive a full promotion in your title, asking for more responsibility will ensure that the company continues to rely on your skills, which keeps your job safe and will also look great on your resume.
At the same time, just because you are an expert at your job and important to management doesn’t mean you can take it easy. Many times, employees get so comfortable that they slip into bad habits. Over 50% of companies have fired workers for email or internet abuse during work, and 18% have dismissed employees because of something they posted on social media. You’ve worked hard to get to this point in your career. By learning from others’ mistakes, you can feel confident that even if your current employer doesn’t give you a promotion in the near future, another company will be interested in the skills you have crafted over the last several years.
The Secret to Keeping a Job for the Long-Term
In order to stay employed, focus on each stage of your career to make yourself increasingly important to your company. By concentrating on communication, growth, and leadership, you’ll be able to improve your skill set and job security in any industry. Of course, in order to keep a job, you’ll first want to find one that’s worth keeping. Luckily, we can help with that.
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